Workplace cyberbullying and bystander helping behaviour
International Journal of Human Resource Management
Taylor & Francis
School of Arts and Humanities
© 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The role of the bystander is integral to the longevity of cyberbullying incidents. Yet research on bystander intervention in the context of workplace cyberbullying has thus far been overlooked. Utilising the Bystander Effect paradigm and the Social Identity approach, this study seeks to determine the variables that influence bystander intervention in workplace cyberbullying episodes. Specifically, a quasi-experimental study with vignettes was used to examine whether the: (1) quality of relationship between bystander and victim and (2) the number of bystanders, influenced the propensity of the bystander to intervene. White collar professionals (N = 204) were asked to respond to online vignettes which described hypothetical workplace cyberbullying scenarios. Repeated measures MANOVA’s and follow up ANOVA’s showed that intervention was more likely when the victim was a work friend, but not when the victim was a work colleague. Participants also indicated that they were less likely to intervene when there were more bystanders (10 vs. 2). Overall the present findings shed light on the importance of organisations to consider the significance of social relationships in the workplace when developing strategies to promote bystander intervention.